The Road of Religion and the Will of God
Sun Myung Moon
April 24, 1977
Belvedere, New York
Translator – Bo Hi Pak
We are members of the religious community; there are many religions in our world, and the Unification Church is one of them. Historically all religions have flourished and declined, along with the cultures which embraced them. To begin with let us consider why religion is necessary. Man is the only creature in God’s creation for which religion is necessary; in addition, there is a subjective role in religion which man himself cannot fulfill. Whatever definition we may give religion, it concerns the relationship between God and men.
Who initiated religion, God or man? Some people are convinced that man initiated religion, while others feel that God was responsible. What is your answer? We must establish the fact that religion would not have been necessary if there had been no fall. It was man who brought the fall to the earth and therefore man who made religion necessary; however, God initiated religion because fallen man needs to be restored in order to recover his original relationship with Him. Religion is a tool to help fulfill that purpose. Thus man necessitated religion but God certainly is the cause of religion; He is the reason that religion exists. The ultimate goal or destination of religion is to create God-centered people. Religion is merely a temporary tool which God is using to recreate man.
Is there anyone who is really fond of religion and who wants to go through the ordeal of religious life? I can imagine what went through your minds this morning. You had to get up one hour earlier than usual because summertime has started, and you probably thought, “Why should I go and listen to Father?” You had to make such an effort just to wake up, and that is an ordeal.
Look at me as an example. I am the founder and leader of the Unification Church, but you and I are in different categories; when people ask you which church you belong to, your answer is, “i belong to the Unification Church.” But when they ask me the same question I cannot give the same answer. I am the founder of the most important movement on the earth. Leadership is not a passive position at all, but the most strenuous calling within religion. My position is on a spiritually elite and distinguished level, but if people ask whether I like my religious life, what do you think I will answer? Are you anxious to know my true answer? It is the same as yours: “Definitely no.” Even after these long years of experience in leading the Unification Church, going day and night, still my answer is no. Why?
Secular discipline and religious discipline
The religious way of life is not a normal way of life; it is a very peculiar life and it is not fun. It involves tribulation and hardship, suffering and continuous self-discipline. You are not free to do anything randomly or at your whim, but instead you must follow by putting yourself in the passive position. You certainly cannot be the subject in the Unification Church; instead the truth is always leading you. I am sure you remember how you felt free to do many things before you teamed the Principle, particularly the chapter on the fall of man. Nobody is checking on you now, but your own conscience is watching out for you and disciplining you.
You lead such a disciplined life here in the Unification Church. Think of it, even your coming here early in the morning like this is a discipline. Normal Americans sleep late in the morning after staying out on Saturday night, maybe dancing until 3 o’clock in the morning. You live such a different kind of life. Your actions are not careless or random, but trained and guided. Even your thoughts and speech are being shaped by discipline. You select songs to sing according to a standard. Where you will go and your direction to get there are also defined.
Is this an easy and fun life? What about living impulsively, going anywhere and doing anything you want, is that really the good life? Before you knew the Divine Principle the pleasurable things of a carnal life seemed natural because it was all you knew. This is the current trend in America, and on the university campuses and in the cities there are all kinds of things going on, with no mental discipline or discipline of the conscience. If no one wanted to date you then you were consumed with agony, and your parents were too. That was the direction of your life before you joined the Unification Church.
In the Unification Church, however, we have a new tradition. Here you are so convinced against dating that you are afraid someone might ask you for a date while you are witnessing to them! When others see that you are so changed it is easy to see why they say the Unification Church brainwashed you. Was that free life really fun or is being a slave to a certain principle more of a free life? If you are a student at a university can you say, “I am a free man so don’t anybody bother me. All you professors don’t need to bother coming before 12 o’clock because I don’t want any classes before noon, and besides that you can’t make me take any required subjects.” Can life work out that way?
What about your social life and your job? When you are working for some corporation, can you say, “I am a free man and I’m going to come to work any time I want”? Could the nation of America decide not to bother with laws and government? Religion is not the only disciplined way of life; all social life and human behavior has to be disciplined in order for people to survive and create harmony in society.
All these disciplines may seem to be binding forces in human life, but everyone must come under a set of rules and regulations. This has been true throughout history. However, religion is different. Social laws and decrees are inescapable, but religious discipline falls upon you only by your personal choice. No one can force you into a religious way of life. The religious life is such an extraordinary life that while you are yet here on this earth you are actually relating to two worlds.
Like anybody else you are living as an individual within society, but even so you are dealing with another world. One standard is set by secular society in the earthly world and commands you to behave in a certain way, while the other springs from the spiritual world of religion.
Which of these is more important and valuable? We are together here because we value the religious way of life and the religious mandate as being most important. But there is not tangible proof that the religious life is more important; physically your face looks the same prior to joining the Church and after. So what is the difference? You cannot completely display your new spirit, and even a crazy person laughs harder than you do. What are you really gaining then? Where is a tangible sign that we have gained some valuable truth or light? What can we be proud of as religious people and as members of the Unification Church? Actually, your religious faith or religious order should never become your source of pride.
The guiding light within a religion should be the dispensation or will of God. There is a difference between God’s will and man’s will, and the reason for your believing in religion lies within God’s will. Without experiencing a religious way of life you cannot speak about the will of God and the will of man.
Human history is like running water, continually flowing into the indefinite future. There are no straight lines in history but always patterns of change like waves. There appears to be no direction in history, but actually there is one central thread connecting everything. Human beings are the ones who weave up and down and circle around that line. You may think that mankind is just living at random, but God is leading history toward a certain purpose and destination.
Do you think that God’s will and destination are eternal or changing? God is eternal, unchanging, and absolute; therefore His direction also remains unchanging and eternal. However, man is temporal. Do you think it is easy for that temporal and changing man to parallel his life with the eternal way of God? Usually mankind just cannot hit the bullseye. Religions vary according to their different cultural settings; however, they are generally shooting in the same direction as God even though they never manage to exactly parallel His direction. As we shoot up, cross the line and shoot down, we create the up and down waves of history. Generally we are moving in somewhat the right direction.
God must have a universal religion in mind
History is moving forward in waves with the central direction of history being the will of God. Whenever a superior religion comes into being, it creates a superior cultural sphere which absorbs the existing cultural spheres. The backbone of a culture is its philosophy, which is derived from a religious conviction. This explains why a more enlightened religious way of life has the power to absorb the lesser cultural spheres.
Religious people have to live within the secular world, while at the same time being led into ever deepening spiritual life. Clearly they must necessarily live within a dual discipline. The imbalance between the spiritual way of life and physical, external world is very amazing. The external world is developing at a fast pace, creating a technological society and a quickly changing way of life. In comparison, mankind’s spiritual understanding is still dwelling in an underdeveloped country.
In the past, a newly emerging religious philosophy usually created the environment or atmosphere for a new cultural sphere to develop in a particular territory. In the present world, however, scientific advancement requires that men live as one unit. However, while the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller every day, the spiritual capacity of men still remains in a primitive era, with no means for exercising dominion over the quickly changing world of modern science.
In the ancient days religious ideology did have an influencing effect on the overall affairs of men, and that is the way it should be. But the contemporary world does not respect religious influence within its world affairs. The world desperately needs a way of life which can embrace all men, but in actuality people’s life styles are largely dictated by selfishness. This contradiction is particularly felt by the young, who are yet very idealistic.
Even religious life is becoming increasingly external, remaining enslaved by certain formalities, and following thousand-year-old traditions. Tradition has become a shackle, and religions have no way to advance; their former disciplines or traditions are too small to embrace the world. This is why young people are so rebellious in their search for a more open atmosphere to replace rigid tradition. Because of this situation God is becoming more and more hazy in people’s lives. In contrast with the past, many people today are simply not convinced that God even exists. Since science has not yet proven God’s existence, modern people are becoming more and more confused about Him. Religion is failing in this modem day.
There are extreme contradictions between the religious world and the secular world. If God were developing and approving only the secular world then the religious impulse would perish because it would not be needed by God. However, if God were to value and guide man’s religious life instead, then this secular world would be doomed. Which one is God’s choice? Which life should we choose?
When you think about it, has the world gotten where it is by its own choice, or has it become like this as a result of outside influence? Indirectly, it seems as if God has permitted the world to freely run its own course. God is almighty, and He has allowed this world situation to come about; indirectly God is responsible. On the other hand, the realm of religion is also God’s responsibility, but God has not yet revealed to the world a religion which is universal enough to enable us to cope effectively with world problems. Then who can be responsible for all this disharmony?
When we see the imbalance and contradiction between the secular world and religious world, we can only conclude that if God is going to take responsibility for the world that the time has come for Him to undertake some extraordinary, revolutionary action to completely change the format of religion. He must have a plan to reveal a more comprehensive ideology which can influence the present world and change it into the ideal that He has been hoping to see established.
God must have some universal religion in His mind. Because the world is ready, this is about the time that God will release such a religion to mankind. Without this religion the imbalance between the spiritual and physical worlds cannot continue much longer. Either the conflict must be resolved or they will both cease to exist. God must have a solution for both the religious and secular worlds together since He is responsible for them both. Which course shall we take? We have to change either the world or religion. Certainly religions today must change through the emergence of a new, universal religion which can take a subjective role in the secular world.
The first problem facing this religious revolution is the resolution of denominationalism. Would God have wanted all religious people to be united by one religion? The dynamic, magnetic force of a new religious ideology would have the power to engross the attention of young people everywhere, particularly those who could not fulfill their vision and hope in the established religions. Why would that religion have such an impact? Young people are very sensitive to the future, having a vision that makes them more receptive to new and higher ideals; when they sense that there is some group pursuing these ideals then they want to join. The future of the world belongs to the young, while the present world belongs to their parents and the past to their grandparents.
How can we recognize the new universal religion?
The three generations of the past, present, and future-grandparents, parents, and children-must become united. If the grandparents are moving east while the parents are moving west and the children south, can we say that they are in harmony? Since history is always moving into the future, who should pioneer the new history and stand at the forefront of the march? If a new religious movement emerges which has young people striving toward a vision of the unity of mankind and global harmony, then it can be recognized as being in the center of God’s will. At the same time, however, the older generations may be trying to dissuade their young people from participating, simply because they themselves cannot move as fast. The older people will insist, “No, no, let’s stay here; don’t move forward. This life is good enough and we should be content.” Should you obey them?
The universal goal of mankind is world brotherhood. A new religious movement with that kind of vision should come into being to mobilize the idealistic passions of young people and to begin a universal march toward that vision. No one can restrain such religious people because they march in step with the forces of history and the vision of God. Each day that march will gather strength and momentum because it is the revolution that God Himself is inciting. Who in the world can stop it?
Until they find that revolution, the young people-American young people are a good example-will be restless in their search for that vision. But without having any principles to anchor themselves to God, they will just sporadically revolt against their society, trying to find their happiness in some random way that they call “freedom.” American young people will experiment with anything in their attempts to find some resolution of their desires. Today they have come to a dead end in their search. Now they are in miserable shape, like a weary bird with drooping wings. Although they are searching for world brotherhood they have attempted to establish it outside of any religious standard, often believing that carnal pleasure is part of true happiness.
However, a new movement of young people working for world brotherhood must come into being, but this time following a path laid out by religion and the way of God’s will. This movement of young people will be entirely different from the secular, fun-seeking movements that are all around, yet still working toward the same ideal for the world. That very movement has now come into being and it is you, the Unification Church. In seeking solutions in a secular way, the young have hit a stone wall; they completely gave up and had to retreat. But in following a spiritual or religious way we can penetrate any number of stone walls. Do you have that kind of spiritual force? We have many, many stone walls that we must spiritually penetrate. The first is often what we call the parents stone wail and even the grandparents stone wall. After going through those we will encounter the super stone walls of nations and governments. Can you even penetrate those?
Is it easier to overcome an obstacle by penetrating it or by flying over it? God knows that secret; this is the time of flying. Any religious movement that will give young people the energy, conviction, and power to fly over any secular difficulty must be the universal religion that will eventually save the world. Is there such a religion? Are you saying yes because you are Unification Church members? Who do you expect to recognize you? Of course God is the first to recognize you, but who is next? Certainly as members of the Unification Church you, too, should recognize the value of what you have. God is hoping to have this religious movement take off and leap over all the difficulties of the secular world that surround us. We must also think in the same way. Instead of digging down into foxholes, we must want to jump up and leap forward. Our thinking should parallel the thinking of God.
In trying to leap forward, do you feel some thrill or even some fear of danger? As you are jumping you may suddenly look down to see the deep valley far below you, and worry, “If I should fall into that valley I will be smashed! ” That creates such a thrill of adventure! Imagine that a rescue plane is flying over the top of the mountain where you are stranded in order to drop a rope for you to grab onto and be pulled to safety. The opportunity for rescue is passing over you, and at a precise moment you must jump and seize the rope. If you jump at the right time but you miss the rope then you will plunge to your death in the valley! That precise moment becomes a life-and death opportunity. Only the person who has courage, guts and an adventurous mind can jump and reach out; other people may be too timid to even make an attempt. Are you that courageous?
Suppose each of you were a Minute Man guided missile. When the commander-in-chief pushes the right button you will be launched; can you fly fearlessly all the way to Moscow? If you truly have that spirit then this is going to be a formidable organization. Already we are formidable; however, you will see in the future that this is going to be an absolutely impossible organization to deal with.
How is the Unification Church different? We know the will of God and we know God’s providence clearly. Compared to any other religion in history and throughout the world today we know the will of God and God Himself more precisely than anyone. That is the special value of the Unification Church. As individuals you may not know God’s specific plan, but at least you clearly know one thing: God is determined to save the world.
What is the desire of mankind? Are the goals of a secular man and a religious man different or the same? The secular world follows goals that lead in many different directions. Let such people go in any direction they like; eventually they will hit a wall and stagger around to start looking for a religious cause to follow. They will have no other choice.
By now young people have tried everything, including streaking, but I have heard that increasingly they are searching for spiritual values. There is absolutely no other way that they can find what they want. Furthermore, the growing interest in religion is reflected in the rising enrollment in church-run schools. This is one indication that the people who could not find secular solutions are coming all the way back to seek out a religious life. Long ago I predicted that this would happen, and that the year 1976 would be the fuming point in American history. From now on the search for spiritual rather than material solutions for this nation’s problems will intensity.
Our church is beginning its take-off
You sometimes enjoy watching the full moon rise at night. Is it more moving to see the moon rise over the open plains or over a mountain? Which is more artistic? We in the Unification Church are like the moon rising from way down in the valley. We climb up and up and finally go over the mountain. Even though we are now in the valley do you still believe that we are going to make it over the mountain? Often we are so busy doing some little thing that we do not even see the mountain or the sky. Does your foot or your hip go up first when you jump over the hill? God is almighty; there is nothing He cannot do. When you take off in the normal position your head is up and legs are down, but why not have your head down and your legs up? It does not matter much because we can still jump over the hill.
The Unification Church itself is going to make the jump, not just individuals within the church. Take the San Francisco court case as an example. We are well aware of the hardships and difficulties, but in the meantime our whole church is beginning its take-off, even while you are unaware. Do you feel that the whole church is beginning to rise over the mountain? Do you think I am just trying to tell you something nice because you came so early, or am I simply telling you what is really going on in the world at large? I have a clear sensitivity by which to evaluate events in the world.
One indicator of public opinion is the mail that is sent to me; it is like the pulse of the nation. You have no idea of the interest and attention that was given to the Unification Church after the San Francisco court case. Suddenly many people became sympathetic to our cause and decided, “I’m not a member of Reverend Moon’s group, but I can’t find anything wrong with him.” Perhaps they have also come to a decisive conclusion that there is no one else in the world who can really tame the young people of America and discipline them in a moral, God-centered way. Americans have witnessed the futile efforts of the government and religious leaders to guide young people, and they are beginning to recognize that all these court cases are largely motivated by sheer jealousy. Righteous America is now beginning to stand up for me.
Furthermore, the time is coming when people will begin to admire my courage. Everybody thinks that by this time I must be completely tired and shriveled-looking like a shrimp. But on the contrary I am more courageous and looking forward to even greater accomplishments. Every day I am marching forward more passionately, becoming busier and more respected. People say, “Well, we must give this man credit.” They might have thought that I would look bent-over like a shrimp, but this shrimp has wings, and instead of sagging down I am flying upward.
If God is alive and concerned with religion, He must either be giving His concentrated attention to the Unification Church or else He does not really exist. Nowadays the religions of the world are becoming powerless. We are in the minority, no question about it, but even though we are such a small group we are a fearless group, and furthermore, we are intensely anticipating the greatest of all accomplishments: that of liberating even the communists who have already taken over two thirds of the world’s population.
This is the age of confrontations and the faster you go, the greater a winner you should be. If you slow down and lose momentum then you will be shattered, but when you move like a bullet you will smash through your opponents. In a head-on collision the fastest car will receive less damage, while the slower-moving car is more vulnerable to being smashed. A bullet is made out of lead, but because of its speed it can even penetrate metal.
We are the church with the greatest speed; when you move faster and faster, all you have to do is stretch out your two arms and you will begin to fly. Everyone wants to fly, and here on earth man has studied all the creatures that fly and created many devices to carry himself through the air. Wouldn’t God want to have a religion that could enable people to fly? Among the many religions of the world, which religion would God choose as the one that should fly? Can you fly?
When your mobilization order is issued you must prepare to take off, running faster and faster and spreading out your arms, heading toward the goal. But why don’t you lift up? If you were airborne right now and in the process of flying over the mountain, would you be dozing or would you be 100% alert to see what is happening on the ground? Do you want to fly over the mountain without even realizing it, or do you want to fully enjoy the excitement? You are actually more susceptible to letting go of the rope when your eyes are wide open with excitement; then you might crash down into the valley.
When you become serious you will just focus your energy like a fist; since you know what is going on down there you don’t even have to worry about making a mistake in your excitement because you are very serious. At first you will be serious because you are aware of what is going on, but after you are over the mountain you can release your anxiety and rejoice. When have you had that kind of serious moment? Saying that you are serious at this moment means that you have not been serious in the past; you have just revealed yourselves! You are just listening and trying to feel serious. But have you ever really been serious, with your heart and mind and deeds all synchronized?
Our religion is the only one which has both extremes, being ultra-conservative in moral discipline, for example, but at the same time so liberated in idealism that we can embrace the rest of the world and reach out to the stars and the sun. In both extremes, the goal we are striving for is absolutely clear. We are like machine gunners who clearly know where the bulls eye is and can always aim in the right direction. This is evidenced by your prayers and also by your actions; for the sake of the world you are trying to go beyond yourself and by following that concept you are shaping your new way of life. In that way you can embrace the rest of the world.
Everything naturally comes in pairs
Two Chinese characters are used to write “God’s will.” One character is a combination of the character meaning “the beam in a house,” and a character meaning “word”; it is literally translated, “fundamental teaching.” The top portion of the other character means “manifestation,” or “building,” while the other section means “heart” or “mind.” Altogether the letters translate “the fundamental teaching for the construction or manifestation of the mind and heart.”
The word meaning “Bible” is also written in two Chinese characters. The first means “divine,” or “holy.” When you analyze this one character, it depicts “ear,” “mouth,” and “king.” Holiness is the king of ear and mouth. The other character means “writing”; altogether they mean “holy writing.” “Heaven” also combines two Chinese characters; one character means “two,” and the other means “person.” Two persons make up heaven.
“Grace” or “mercy” are important words in the Bible, indicating a reciprocal relationship between two identical sides. In other words, two are involved in mercy, not just one. Here, one character means “righteousness,” while the other is “sheep” and ,’self.” In other words, when you put yourself in the position of a sheep you will create righteousness. This is comparable to Jesus’ teaching of the selfless giving of oneself as a sacrifice; that is righteousness. Two persons create virtue, with one virtue originating on earth and the other in heaven. In the heavenly way of speaking, two people make heaven, while on earth virtue is manifested by putting oneself in the position of a sheep. All these are very symbolically written, and very removed from the Western way of thinking about these concepts. This may be difficult for you to understand, but there is very profound meaning behind them.
Everything naturally comes in pairs, in order to create action and result. Can you laugh without moving one side of your mouth? Suppose you keep your lower lip still; can you laugh with just your upper lip? You need to keep both eyes open in order to capture one image. This unified action by a pair creates holy action because that is God’s way.
Therefore, everything that God initiated can be holy and good. When I prayed at holy ground on my way here I heard the beautiful birds singing. Do the birds sing early in the morning because they have 5 o’clock pledge service too? Are they singing because they are hungry and miserable? They sing because they are looking for their mate. Suppose only Mother was sitting here all by herself, would it be the same without me? What if Mother stayed home and I came alone? If one of us does not come then you feel that some area is missing.
God chooses those who live their conviction
Today’s topic concerns the road or way of religion. What is our road? Our way is one of leaping and jumping over any kind of hardship or persecution. Do you have the kind of attitude that allows you to think, “This is another hurdle to challenge and I welcome it.” God will lose interest in any religion that does not have the capacity to leap over obstacles.
Noah, for example, was a man of conviction who could be adventurous, and God was with him because Noah’s conviction made impossible things possible. Being with Noah, God felt a tremendous elation because his conviction was stronger than any of those negative forces that persecuted and ridiculed him. Nobody could stop Noah. His wife and his children tried to nag him, but he just answered, “All right, if you feel that way then stay behind and let me go.” Are you like Noah? Suppose Mother tried to oppose my work and keep me home. Should I say, “You are my loving wife and I must be 100% obedient to you”?
God’s promise and vision of tomorrow is greater than anything you can think of, including your own family. The central persons or future hosts of the world will be the men of conviction who can leap and be adventurous. Because they are the ones who can become God’s champions, God is going to work with them, and when God is with them they will automatically be the masters of tomorrow’s world. Whatever persecution and ridicule we may encounter, we will be like Noah; when we have a vision of tomorrow then nobody can stop us. If we are not affected by those headwinds then God will indeed work with us and the future will indeed be delivered into our hands.
Suppose only black people are gathered together to do this; who will the future belong to in that case? If only black people come to follow me then indeed the future would rest in their hands. If black people were given God’s blessing and power and authority, should they then say, “You white people persecuted us so much in the past that this is the time for us to take revenge by dominating you.” If that is their attitude then those people have no way of deserving God’s blessing in the first place. If the black people are the ones who qualify to receive the blessing of God they must go to share that blessing with the white people, persisting even if they are rejected and misunderstood. If any black members are following our way of life because some day they want to have the power to take revenge on white people then they are the enemies of mankind, and are not worthy to stay here.
In America the most famous champions in sports are primarily black people. Why is that? Blacks have definitely been oppressed, feeling deep down inside that they want some way to excel over whites. In that sense white people have given some stimulation to black people because after receiving so much oppression black people want to receive respect. Great champions could not be born among black people without that kind of stimulus.
That same psychology works in the Unification Church. All my life I have been the underdog, and always I felt, “Some day I want to show the world how fight I am, and how powerful and how needed we are.” With this zeal deep in my heart, I always have a hidden anger and wrath that spurs me on to higher excellence. The important thing to know is that when you utilize this stimulant constructively you can be a winner. God does not particularly oppose that kind of psychological behavior, but rather uses it. However, God watches very carefully for any feeling of revenge because He hates that attitude. But if you use this negative influence in a constructive way to stimulate yourself, then you can not only excel yourself, but in trying to reach out and embrace your opponents you will show them that the greatest victory comes by love. That is God’s way.
Why do you think God feels that way? Imagine that we jump over the hill; are we going to land in a desert or a populated area? Among secular people or heavenly people? Your reason for landing on the other side of the hill is to save those people and influence them to come into heaven. You must work with them, but if you have a hardened feeling of revenge then God cannot bless you because you will only misuse His blessing. Only those who can embrace others and give unselfish love will receive the blessing because they will benefit so many other people. Black people in particular must be careful and overcome any feelings of revenge. Unification Church members in general should be careful. We can become stimulated by negativity, but we must not become hateful. We do the work of God, and we must do as God does. If ever we resist God’s way then we are striking God instead of Satan.
Abraham was a man of conviction who plunged into adventures. When Abraham became a wanderer, he was in miserable shape, traveling aimlessly with his family in the wilderness. Yet under those circumstances God gave him this blessing: “Number the stars, if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be.” Only a crazy person or a man of adventure could accept that blessing and uphold his faith. Abraham suffered much, almost losing his wife and all his possessions and relatives to the Pharaoh in Egypt, yet he never, never gave up his faith in the blessings of God. Nothing could change his conviction and he fully lived that conviction, ultimately receiving his promised blessing from God. Anyone who just sits and waits for God to take care of everything will never encounter the blessing of God.
There are three types of religious people in this world. One type are the men of faith who are sitting idle. The second are the men of faith who feel that they should at least set some condition by doing something to help God. The third type are the men of faith who want to translate their conviction 1000/c into action by giving up their lives. Which ones do you think God will side with? Do you just want to set some condition of indemnity to jump over the mountain, or do you really want to pay the full amount and release yourself completely? If you say, “I want to pay the full indemnity,” then your attitude becomes absolute; that is most bold.
In using a balance scale you have an object to be weighed plus the weights to measure with. Which one would you prefer to be? These weights are needed to determine the value of the object, but once that is done the weights have no intrinsic value. Only God is dealing directly with Satan, and strictly speaking you actually have to pay only a relatively small condition to Satan. God only uses your indemnity on a conditional basis, like the weights, in dealing with Satan. However, in actuality would you want to be proud of yourself and pay your indemnity in full, or would you want to be forgiven by making just a small condition of indemnity? If you have the capability, which one would you prefer?
Why does God only require conditional indemnity? You might decide, “Those poor people are so weak and vulnerable that they cannot pay their full amount. They are the reason God only requires a small condition, but that is not for me. I’m going to pay 100%.” Do you have that kind of willingness? Not too many I see. Without courage you will not accomplish such a thing.
Do you think I am a man of courage and adventure? If someone else is sitting in a chair yet claims he has greater conviction than 1, will God bless him? God is looking not only for conviction but for actual deeds. Creation can never happen when a man is just sitting idle. We can know that God is a God of action by observing those historical persons like Noah, Abraham and Jacob.
Did Jacob show God a small condition and then demand his blessing, or did he work to cam every inch of his blessing? Conviction must be followed by action and deed. Jacob went to the wilderness of Haran to his uncle Laban and there he suffered 21 years, not forgetting his mission for even one second of the day. Moses also upheld his faith, and translated that conviction into action, even revolting against the Pharaoh. Why did God choose Moses? He had many deficiencies, but God saw Moses’ true qualifications: he was a man of conviction, a man of boldness and a man of action. The 40 years of wandering in the wilderness could not shake Moses, even though an his people rebelled against him. This was the quality God was looking for when He picked Moses as a leader.
In contrast, John the Baptist was a man of failure in dispensational history. He had faith and conviction that he should prepare the people for the imminent coming of the Messiah, and for thirty years in the wilderness he lived an ascetic life, eating locusts and wild honey. Yet after making that sacrificial condition he failed in action. Even though he testified to Jesus as the son of God he failed to follow him; he felt that his fame and reputation were at stake, and that he just could not follow a carpenter from Nazareth.
I know that way of life, and I know that no matter how much faith you profess or how much conviction you might have, nothing will happen unless faith and conviction are translated into action. I am thinking big, preaching world salvation and the liberation of mankind and God. My words and deeds must match, and unless I am capable of adventure and risking my life I have not lived my faith. I know that saving the nation and the world is not an easy task, and I have been training and disciplining not only myself but all my followers, mobilizing them toward such a goal in the way that people will see that our words and actions match.
Living your conviction means getting burned and bruised
What can stop a car which is speeding 100 miles per hour down a superhighway? What about lions and tigers, or an Executive Order from the President? Only an internal mechanism can stop the car, the contact of brake with wheel. This world is crumbling and there is actually no mountain which can stop this car, but I am like a small brake lining, the special piece which can squeeze the wheel and stop this tumbling world.
If America is that car rushing down the incline, then when you apply the brake do you think sparks will fly and the wheels will heat up, even becoming red hot? You are like the small piece of metal that slows a wheel, so do you expect to get some scars and bruises and burns? Is that natural or unnatural? Those who want to become such a contact piece, even though they may get burned and bruised, raise your hands. Your answer is absolutely great, and means that you want to be tested in actual battle.
The Unification Church indeed follows a religious way of life. God will welcome your strong conviction. If I am only feeling my conviction but sitting idle and waiting for God to move, then God will say, “My son, I need somebody else.” But in reality I am moving. In less than a few years I have stirred up all of America; I have visited every corner of this land, and have become the center of controversy and attention in a good way. All these are signs that I am a man of action and not a man sitting idle. In order to reach the moon do you have to leap forward or do you have to dig into the ground? If I am the moon then you are the astronauts on Apollo 11, and you must strive harder than Neil Armstrong. “Armstrong” means arm-strong, not word-strong. That is the kind of man who will reach the moon.
Maybe some of you men have that kind of appetite and ambition, but how about you women; are you equally courageous? Are you going to be passive followers behind the men? You say no, but I cannot believe it because all the pioneers and revolutionaries who really changed the shape of history were men. In history men have inherited the position of power and authority to lead the world, having the character of courage and boldness. Women are very good spectators, but usually women are nagging and trying to restrain the men instead of encouraging them to go forward. Are you different?
Actually, in the Unification Church there is convincing evidence that the women are ahead of you men. Are you listening very carefully? The record shows that in our two major activities of fund raising and witnessing the women have consistently been the winners. Why are you brothers so silent? You are defeated in statistics and actual results, but I will take your word for it if you say, “Father, we admit that we have been defeated by the women, but from today on it will be different. You wait and see.”
So far I have been explaining the way of religion. There are different kinds of faith. Most Christians have a faith in God and Jesus, and they want to go to heaven, but they are each thinking, “I want to go to heaven, and have God give me my secure little cubbyhole upstairs.” But in contrast, our faith in God shapes our way of life and we pledge, “We will be Your representatives, and we want to build Your Kingdom of Heaven so that all mankind can live there.” I have thought about this and after testing out this kind of faith I know that it is 100% correct. I am absolutely sure that if this conviction is wrong and God cannot cooperate with us then God can never in eternity achieve His will.
I have spent the last couple of days at Barrytown with the seminarians. To symbolically show them how they can become victorious I taught them to knit a huge fishing net to catch thousands of carp at one time. I worked all through Friday until 6 a.m., then all day yesterday, only coming back here at 1 a.m. The seminarians might have thought that I am only an excellent teacher and lecturer, but all of a sudden they realized that I am also a fisherman who knows everything-how to make a net and how to catch fish by the hundreds.
With my two hands I have created factories and farms. I know how to fish and mine and do every kind of labor there is, as well as leading spiritual work. I can translate that same spirit into action in every phase of human life, and I am never a stranger anywhere; when I go to a farming community I can immediately tune into it.
What kind of leader do you want? One who sits on a chair and only speaks to you to make you work hard, or someone who can act as well as speak? One record-breaking miracle that I have achieved is that these fragile women are working harder than men and bringing more results. A woman’s nature is not oriented toward work, actually. So far in history a woman’s role has been to make herself into a beautiful ornament, who only participates at times of relaxation or enjoyment.
I have analyzed why women wear such awkward high heels. Men are confident enough without high heels, but women are always lagging behind; high heels were invented to tilt you forward so you could catch up. Finally the purpose of high heels has been achieved in the Unification Church, meaning that you women have caught up with the men. America is truly a women’s kingdom, and by wearing high heels they have caught up with men. There is a very principled meaning in high heels; most women wear high heels but only wander and do nothing. However, when you sisters wear high heels then you really move fast. We are a group with a high heel spirit, and we run faster and push ourselves forward.
You men have been failing at doing men’s jobs, which is why the women have outshone you. However, if we did not wear any shoes but just went barefoot then I know for sure that men would win. Men are rugged and ready to go barefoot, but women have been trained to wear sensitive nylons and they are not prepared to go without shoes. In that area men can win.
Then how can you women combat that? In one thing you women have an absolute privilege-in bearing children. Some women complain about how painful God made childbirth, but do you realize what a privilege God has given you? Because of that unique capability you can be treated with respect by men and listened to. If you had no ability to bear children then you would be no good to your husband, but because you can give a son or daughter to him then he will listen to your every desire. You have not thought of it in that way. You thought God was punishing women by giving them such pain, but instead that establishes your right to be protected. Have you heard of any war in which women went out to fight and die by the tens of thousands? Women have always stayed behind and just waited for the men to come home again.
We have come to the conclusion that unless you have conviction accompanied by courage and boldness you will not fulfill the will of God. The man without those qualities cannot be part of God’s dispensation, but if for God’s purpose men can become bold and courageous then they shall play the central role in God’s history, not only for the present, but all throughout the ages. Because God is eternal there is no exception to this in either the past, present, or future.
There is now a revolutionary religious teaching which is inspiring young people to unprecedented boldness and courage, mobilizing them toward the highest ideal of world brotherhood. If such a religion is working in this world, then indeed it must become the hope for the future and God must be working with that group.
We will see how brave you are. The bolder, more courageous, and more adventurous you are, the greater will be the blessing which you can receive from God. The blessing will not come to you; you must go to win it. Can you make a pledge, “I may not have been perfect yesterday, but from this moment on, Father, I will be a different person. I will be bolder, braver, and more courageous than ever and I will risk my life for my conviction.” Those who can pledge that, raise your hands please.
Will you welcome rain and hurricanes when you go out to sell newspapers? That bad weather can challenge you to sell more papers than in good weather. Do you welcome it? Your voices are dying! Some people look like they are thinking, “Father, you spoke three hours and you inspired me but I cannot trust how long my actions will last. I cannot promise you that.” Shall we make our newspaper surpass the New York Times? Shall we be oppressed by the existing churches, or shall we transcend their prosperity?
Have you heard about the great campaign we are waging through the Unification Seminary? I feel ecstatic joy because certain things which I have planned are happening precisely according to my idea; the things that nobody could imagine are now literally unfolding. You do not know what is going on in the rest of the world. You are only aware of selling newspapers every day, but while you are doing that in New York City there are many spiritual atomic bombs exploding here and there. Do not be discouraged.
All the people who came out of Egypt were destroyed because they fell into faithlessness, yet God raised up Joshua and Caleb because they were men of boldness and courage. Unless you become bold and courageous and strong you cannot surpass them. God knows that better than anyone else.
Today the new summer is beginning, and I am now giving you one most clear-cut instruction: be bold and strong, because that is the way you can receive God’s blessing. Can you do it? Raise your hands and pledge to God that you will be bold and strong! Thank you. Let us pray.